Hingham- the Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant has begun construction this week on the expansion of the Hobart St. substation near the Town Landfill.  The expansion of the station became necessary to meet the growing demand for power that the Town has been experiencing and is projected to continue with the completion of the Erickson Retirement Community project, the Hingham Shipyard project and the new BlueCross/BlueShield building in the Industrial Park.

“The demand (which is how we measure energy use) has grown 20% in the past year and we need to expand the substation to meet this growth, and an additional 20% growth which is projected over the next 5 years”, said Panos Tokadjian, the Chief Engineer for the Light Plant.  The previous peak demand had been 37.5 mega-watts (MW) set in August, 2003.  A new record peak was established this past July at 45.1 MW and the projections are for the demand to grow to 55 MW by 2010.

John Stoddard, Jr., Chairman of the Light Board commented, “When the Light Plant built the substation in 1986, it was thought that would cover the electrical needs of the Town for a long time.  The number of large projects in the Town and their requirements for power caused us to review our options and the Board decided to expand the existing station to serve this load.”  Stoddard also point out that Light Plant is looking for an alternative site for a future substation as an option to deal with the growing demand for electricity. “We have asked the General Manger to look out 5 to 10 years and develop a plan for an additional station site”, said Stoddard.

The expansion project involves installation of a third transformer and second switchgear building which will allow the Light Plant to utilize 8 new circuits to provide electricity to meet growth.  The Town presently is served by 6 circuits, so the expansion more than doubles the available circuits in the Town. The substation construction is expected to take 7 months to complete and the station should be on line in May, 2006.

“This is a very aggressive schedule to complete this type of project and involves some good coordination with equipment manufacturers to meet the timetable.  The expansion project will take place within the exiting footprint of the substation and provide us with the capacity necessary to meet the needs of our customers”, said John G. Tzimorangas, General Manager of HMLP.

HMLP serves 10,000 residential and commercial electric customers in the Town of Hingham. HMLP continues to provide low cost, safe, reliable electricity to the residents of Hingham with a high level of service and customer satisfaction.